Ferring Pharmaceuticals is partnering with Intralytix, Inc to develop and commercialise bacteriophage-based treatments for conditions associated with the presence of pathogenic bacteria or dysbiosis of the microbiome.
The human body is host to trillions of microbes, bacteria, virus and fungi. This vast and complex microbial community is known as the microbiota. The collective name for all of the genes in the microbiota is the microbiome.
Bacteriophages are a normal part of the microbiota. These virus-like organisms have evolved naturally to target and destroy specific bacteria. They have significant potential compared to antibiotics to treat bacterial infections without affecting beneficial bacteria, such as the normal gut flora, to fine-tune the human microbiome and to address the growing issue of antibiotic resistance.
"Rapidly evolving science is uncovering the central role that the microbiome plays in human health and disease," said Per Falk, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Ferring Pharmaceuticals. "Ferring is committed to advancing microbiome research in order to develop innovative new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease, and to address urgent unmet needs."
Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is an increasingly serious threat to global public health1 and a key focus of the collaboration will be on developing treatments for multi-drug resistant bacteria.
"Phage-based anti-bacterial treatments are rapidly emerging as a safe, effective and natural way to help maintain healthy microbiota," said Alexander Sulakvelidze, Vice President for Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer of Intralytix. "We are delighted to be expanding our collaboration with Ferring. Together, we can enhance product development, and bring benefits to patients more quickly."
Ferring announced an initial collaboration with Intralytix on a bacteriophage-based therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in July 2015. By broadening the collaboration, Ferring and Intralytix will now jointly investigate bacteriophage-based drugs to regulate the microbiome of the female reproductive tract, oral cavity, and skin, in addition to the gut.
About the Microbiota
The human body is host to trillions of microbes, bacteria, virus and fungi. This vast and complex microbial community is known as the microbiota. The microbiota can be considered a "new organ" which actually constitutes 2 kg of the body. An estimated 80 % of its components have not yet been cultivated.
About the Microbiome
Each of the different microorganisms in the microbiota has its own unique set of genes. The collective name for all of the genes in the microbiota is the microbiome. Rapidly evolving science has uncovered a central role of the microbiome in human health and disease.
Bacteriophage literally means 'bacteria-eater', taken from the Greek 'phagein' meaning "to eat". Bacteriophages are the most abundant microorganisms on earth and have evolved naturally to target and destroy specific bacteria. They are currently being investigated as a possible therapy against multi-drug-resistant strains of many bacteria.
About Ferring Pharmaceuticals
Headquartered in Switzerland, Ferring Pharmaceuticals is a research-driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group active in global markets. The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of reproductive health, urology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and orthopaedics. Ferring has its own operating subsidiaries in nearly 60 countries and markets its products in 110 countries. To learn more about Ferring or its products please visit www.ferring.com.
About Intralytix, Inc.
Intralytix, Inc. is a privately-held company headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. The company is the world's leader in bacteriophage technology, and was the first company in the world to receive FDA-approval for a phage-based product for food safety applications. Intralytix currently has the largest in the world portfolio of phage-based products on commercial markets. The company holds several bacteriophage technology-related patents, including two U.S. patents (and additional patents pending) on the use of bacteriophages for fine tuning human or animal microbiome by using phage to reduce or eliminate bacterial colonization (US 7,459,272 B2 and US 8,003,323 B2). To learn more about Intralytix, Inc. or its products please visit www.intralytix.com.
1 WHO Antimicrobial Fact sheet 2016: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs194/en/
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